Knowledge, Legitimacy and Economic Practice in Informal Markets for Medicine

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Current debates and market based interventions in international public health seek to bring about explicit improvements in the quality of care offered by informal providers. In this paper we examine how informal providers are framed as problematic and question assumptions about what constitutes appropriate knowledge and expectations of how economic actors in the medical marketplace will behave. We argue that existing portraits of informal providers tend to establish clear cut distinctions between different kinds of practitioner; 'dis-embed' biomedical transactions from the broader relationships within which they take place; freeze or anatomise what are dynamic economic relationships between stakeholders, and obscure or ignore the position of informal providers in a global pharmaceutical supply chain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1537-1702
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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